I excersize alot but I am not a memeber of a gym or anything like that. I don't want to have to spend the money on a gym membership when I can get a better workout at home.
My older sister has moved out of the house and I now have the upstairs to myself. I have turned her old bedroom into my excersize room, how great! My personal gym consists of; 7 dumbells (2 45lbs, 2 35lbs, 2 10lbs, 1 40lbs), a basic weightbench that can be adjusted to various inclines, a balance ball (the big beachball thing), a pull-up bar that hangs in the door-frame, and an eliptical machine. Other than the eliptical, everything is pretty cheap. The only reason I have the eliptical is because my mother wanted to start excersizing so she bought the eliptical but NEVER even go on it, so I have it now.
With this meager bit of equipment, I think I get a great workout.
Freeweights (dumbells) give you a better workout than the gym's fancy excersize machines. The machines kind of "assist" you in the movements, the guide and balanace the weight. With free weights however, your muscles have to work harder to balance and steady the weight which gives you a much better workout and builds a wider variety of muscles. With machines, specific muscles are targeted rather than a large number of different muscles.
So, if you want to start working out without having to spend much money, then dumbells are definately the way to go!